Seeds and a Story

May you, my brother and sisters, be rescued from the lie that the peace, love, joy and grace of God is somewhere else . . . for somebody else. May you discover, taste, hear, see, experience that which is right here, Jesus said: ‘Within.’

I just finished listening to a podcast from Mars Hill Bible Church by Rob Bell which he called ‘Weeds’ (25 October,2010. Podcast is available on iTunes.) He teaches from the book of Matthew and the three mentions Jesus makes of ‘seeds:’ the parable of the wheat and the tares, the parable of the mustard seed, and the parable of the sower. There is so much I would love to share with you about the kingdom of God and its steady, sure growth within and amongst us, but I’ll let you listen to the podcast.

One point he makes which I would like to share is that of experiencing the kingdom of God.

He asks a couple in the congregation to listen to a song on his ipod and write down what they hear.

He asks another couple to look at a picture and write down what they see.

He then reads the words to the congregation and, of course, they have no idea what the song was or how the picture looked. The words tell what the music and painting is like, just as the parables tell us what the kingdom of heaven is like. But they can in no way be substitutes for, or even give a full understanding of the experience.

Once you hear the song, you understand why it was described the way it was.

Once you see the picture, you realise the truth of the description.

Once you experience the kingdom of God, you can understand what Jesus is saying.

*   *   *   *   *

Rob concludes the sermon with this story:

There’s a story about the rabbi from Krakow. This story originated in 18th-century Eastern Europe. The rabbi from Krakow, so the story goes, had a fantastic, magical, mystical dream. He had a vision. And in the rabbi from Krakow’s dream, he had a vision of a bridge in a far away city, and under the bridge was buried a treasure. So he wakes up from his dream, he packs his stuff and heads out.

Many, many days, on an arduous journey, he makes his way to the city he saw in his dream. He gets to the edges of the river. He’s standing in the weeds, and he’s watching the bridge. He’s trying to figure out where the treasure is buried.

One of the guards who stands sentry on the bridge, sees him in the bushes and says ‘Hey, you there. Come out! What are you doing here?’

And the rabbi says, ‘I had this dream. And in this dream I had a vision that under this bridge there’s some treasure buried.

And the policeman begins to laugh.

He bursts out laughing and says, ‘You believe dreams like that? If I believed dreams like that, I would believe there’s treasure hidden under the bed of some rabbi in Krakow.’ At which point the rabbi says ‘Thank you very much, sir.’ And he heads home.

May you, my brother and sisters, be rescued from the lie that the peace, love, joy and grace of God is somewhere else . . . for somebody else. May you discover, taste, hear, see, experience that which is right here, Jesus said: ‘Within.’

May the peace of God be yours.

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